The Solution to “Whose Turn Is It?”

Any mom out there with more than one child has undeniably wrestled with the argument of whose turn it is to do something. Occasions can vary from sitting in the front seat of the car, sitting next to mom at a restaurant, playing on an electronic device, or choosing a television show. The argument may also arise when someone does not want to do something: taking out the trash, walking the dog, etc.

This plan will help you stop the arguing, NOW! It’s as simple as this: assign each child a specific day that does not vary, no matter what. In my house, Anna has the even-numbered dates and Jake has the odd. When I pick them up from school today, instead of them standing in the car pick-up line arguing about whose turn it is to sit in the front seat, they will say, “Today is January 27th. It’s an odd-numbered day. Jake will sit up front.” Bam. Done.

If your child starts figuring out that some months have more odd-numbered days than others, or that it always seems like we never drive anywhere on even days, so it isn’t fair, my response is always this, “Too bad. It all evens out in the end.” And it’s true. Some weeks Anna will never get a chance to sit up front because we just happened not to drive anywhere on her days, but the fact is that the same thing could happen the following week to Jake. Get over it.

How to Assign Days

For 2 Kids:

One gets even days and one gets odd. We made our decision because Anna was born on the 14th (an even day) and Jake was born on the 19th (an odd day). You could also use the years they were born, the numerical value of the month they were born, the time they were born—whatever. And if it ends up they both have even for everything, you’ll just have to assign one kid the odd day and one the even, and remember which is which!

For 3 Kids:

One gets Mondays & Thursdays, One gets Tuesdays & Fridays, One gets Wednesdays & Saturdays. You can do whatever you want with Sundays. Sunday can be a “mom day or dad day” or it can be a “nobody’s day.” For three kids, your best bet is putting the days of the week in a hat, pulling them out, and writing them down somewhere for all to see and remember.

For 4 Kids:

You can alternate even and odd days, or you can assign Mondays–Thursdays and have three days “off.” You know what works best for your kids, so choose wisely to avoid the most whining.

For 5 Kids:

Assign Monday–Friday. Weekends are “mom day or dad day” or “nobody’s day.” If you’ve got more than five kids, my hope is that a couple of them are way past the age of caring whose turn it is to do something, but if they need an assigned day, go for it!

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